It is rare for a world-renowned sculpture to enter
in a small museum. This is the case of the masterwork Perseus and the Gorgon, Camille
Claudel (1864-1943), received as a gift by the Municipal Museum
Dubois-Boucher of Nogent-sur-Seine. This operation from AGF, who was the owner since
1983, could not be done with the help of seventeen companies, which
have contributed 768 500 euros on a total of 950 000 euros. It is, for
France, an "exemplary" sponsorship for a municipal museum of this size.
The museum's collection already includes more than 400 sculptures from
the late nineteenth century, including two by Camille Claudel: a study
of the head Hamadryade and a copy of The Implorante small model. Above
all, Camille Claudel lived in Nogent from 1876 to 1879. A
famous artist, Alfred Boucher, revealed her and gave hem his
first courses until 1882, in Paris, before she enters in the studio Rodin as a
student, practitioner, model . It is also his mistress until 1893. The
statue represents Perseus cut from the head of Medusa and watching his
reflection in his shield bronze - now defunct - not to be petrified by
his gaze. It is the only large marble (1.96 m high) by Camille Claudel.
It represents an essential step in his artistic career. Conceived in
1897, it marked his break with Rodin and a return to classicism taught
by Boucher. Besides, it gives its traits to Medusa: should see Rodin
behind Perseus and the sudden awareness of its artistic death? This
work would be his will, as its production is limited by the continued
lack of inspiration, secondary works. Meanwhile, the city of
Nogent decided on July 9, to buy the collection of Queen Marie Paris,
granddaughter of Paul Claudel, which contains the largest set of
Camille Claudel: 70 sculptures and 7 letters and photographs. An
agreement was reached on the basis of 13.5 million euros, lower than
the estimated value. Ms. Paris said that she hoped that this collection
is presented in Nogent in memory of "happy years" that his great-aunt
has passed. For the host, a museum will be housed in the house of the
seventeenth century that the Claudel family lived from 1876 to 1879.
Nogent intends to identify his assets around as Camille Claudel.